File: Dis-Chem says it was forced to increase prices of surgical masks because of disruption in supply.
JOHANNESBURG - Dis-Chem has been fined R1.2-million by the Competition Tribunal for charging excessive prices for surgical face masks.
"In its order and reasons, the Tribunal has found that Dis-Chem contravened section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act (the Act) in that it charged an excessive price for three types of surgical face masks (SFM 50, SFM 5 and Folio50) to the detriment of consumers during March 2020," read the statement from the Tribunal.
The Tribunal said during its investigation, Dis-chem failed to show that its price increases were reasonable.
“In our view, Dis-Chem’s massive price increases of surgical masks during the complaint period, which constitute an essential component of life-saving first-line protection in a pandemic of seismic proportions, without any significant increases in costs, are utterly unreasonable and reprehensible.
"Accordingly, we find that Dis-Chem has failed to show that its price increases for SFM50 and SFM5 and Folio50 were reasonable in the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
An investigation was launched after a complaint from the Competition Commission was referred to the Tribunal in April.
- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.
Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.